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As a student, when spring rolls around, we’re typically supposed to head south, find beaches, rage to electronic music, pound mai tai’s, and hope to avoid pulling down an STD. While everyone listens to societies acceptance speech, we decided meal planning and mapping out logistics was more fun; especially for a 10 day sled shred mission. The crew was 8 strong and consisted of of Garrett Evridge (Economist), Sam Volk (Geologist), Adam McComb (Geologist), Trevor Grams (Geographer), Katrina Keese (Earth Scientist), Kelsey Opstad (Paramedic), Brian Grams (Trevors brother and Bad Ass High Schooler), and myself (Engineer). We were all staring down the barrel of our last semester at the most northern university in the United States, the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The trip took us south, but instead of beaches, we routed to Thompson Pass, abandoned the road system and headed for Wortmanns Glacier.

While most of Alaska was complaining about a lack of snowfall, we shot for elevation, leaving those crying in beers at sea level. The warm maritime weather patterns produced by “The North Pacific Blob” were slamming up against the Chugach, dropping huge amounts of stable snow above 2500’. Having experimented with several versions of home built ski racks, it was obvious we would need something professionally designed; Mo Pros Racks was the only system capable of handling the demands of backcountry travel in Alaska. We weren’t going to take off on spring break, having invested serious time and money to end up with a possible failure in the backcountry. We turned our snowmachines into trucks with our Mo Pros Racks which allowed us access to hike and ride big lines. 10 days later we returned not with sand in our shoes and a bad itch, but with goggles tans, smelly gear and memories of an epic adventure etched in our minds and captured on film.

If you missed last years trip, check it out here.

-Neil Gotschall


Colin Balke is a content editor for who lives in Northern California. When not plucking away on a keyboard, he can be found splitboarding, camping, backpacking, or hanging out with family and friends.